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How Are New Technologies Shaping Ohio Medical Malpractice Cases?

Researchers talking to pulmonologist

If you’ve recently undergone a medical procedure in Ohio, you’ve probably noticed the major role that technology plays in your patient care. From telemedicine consultations to robotic-assisted surgeries, new technologies are making healthcare more accessible and effective than ever. 

That said, these advancements are also ushering in new legal challenges, particularly when it comes to Ohio medical malpractice cases. Read on as we unpack what this means for patients. 

What Is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider deviates from the recognized “standard of care” in treating a patient. “Standard of care” refers to what a reasonably skilled medical professional would or would not have done under the same or similar circumstances. 

Malpractice can arise from actions taken or not taken by a healthcare provider, including misdiagnosis, incorrect treatment, surgical mistakes, medication errors, and not fully informing the patient about the risks or alternatives of a treatment. Learn more about what Ohio considers medical malpractice

The Impact of Technological Advancements on Medical Malpractice

The Double-Edged Sword of Digital Health Records

Electronic Health Records (EHRs) have transformed the way health providers store and access patient information, significantly reducing errors related to poor handwriting or lost files. As of 2021, four out of five office-based physicians and 96% of non-federal acute care rely on them. 

Despite their benefits, input errors or software issues can lead to misdiagnosis or incorrect treatment plans, raising potential malpractice concerns.

The Rise of Telemedicine and Its Legal Implications

Ohio’s state medical board relaxed telehealth rules during the pandemic, which House Bill 122 later made permanent. Nationwide, telehealth usage increased from 14% in 2016 to 80% in 2022

Nonetheless, telemedicine brings its own set of legal challenges. Ohio medical malpractice cases often relate to licensing across state lines, consent, privacy concerns, and how much a virtual consultation can substitute for in-person care. 

The Advent of AI in Diagnosis and Treatment

Artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare promises to enhance diagnostic accuracy, personalize treatment plans, and predict patient outcomes. Experts forecast that the global healthcare AI market will reach $188 billion by 2030

However, this technology also raises questions about liability and accountability. Who is responsible when an AI-driven decision leads to a medical mistake, such as misdiagnosis or treatment errors? Is it the healthcare provider, the technology developer, or both? These are complex questions that the legal system is currently grappling with.

Navigating Legal Challenges: What Patients Need to Know

Understanding Your Rights 

As a patient, it’s important to understand your rights regarding data privacy and the measures healthcare providers should take to protect your information. Familiarize yourself with the privacy policies of your healthcare providers, and don’t hesitate to ask questions about how your data is used and safeguarded.

Informed Consent 

Given these new medical technologies, informed consent is more important than ever. Whether it’s a traditional treatment or a new procedure, you have the right to know and understand the risks, benefits, and alternatives—it’s also important to remember that these technologies are tools to aid healthcare providers, not replace them. 

If you feel that a treatment plan involving new technology is not adequately explained, it’s within your rights to ask for more information or seek a second opinion.

Advocating for Yourself in a Tech-Driven Healthcare Environment

Navigating the healthcare system can be daunting, especially as it becomes more intertwined with technology. Advocating for yourself means staying informed about the technologies being used in your care and understanding how they impact your rights and safety. 

If you believe that a technology-related issue has negatively impacted your health, remember: you’re not alone. Issues such as a breach of privacy, a misdiagnosis due to an error in digital records, or inadequate informed consent for a procedure using new technology may warrant a medical malpractice claim

Have questions related to Ohio medical malpractice cases? Our experienced team at Slater & Zurz is here to help. Contact us at 330-762-0700 for a free consultation about your situation.